‘Young people should reinvent for strategic politicking’
Managing Director of Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF), Bello Shagari, has described leadership as a position of responsibility that should not be used as an avenue for making money.
Bello, grandson of the late Shehu Shagari, Nigeria’s first executive president, believes the youth has to be consciously involved in politics to make personal contributions to the nation’s development.
Bello, speaking at a webinar organised by the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI), a youth-based organisation established by the United States Consulate, Lagos, in partnership with Constitution Lab, described leadership as a position of responsibility and politics should not be seen as an avenue to make money. “The youth need to see things beyond the prism of ethnicity and religion when voting for candidates.”
The event, which aimed at enhancing political consciousness among Nigerian youth, sensitised participants present on the importance of Personal Voter Card (PVC).
During the event, which lasted for hours, young politicians had opportunity to deliberate on challenges youths face running for electoral offices, while they also proffered strategic solutions to surmount the barriers.
On his part, Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, who launched into politics in 2019, as a candidate of the Modern Democratic Party, for the House of Representatives in Eti-Osa, Lagos, lamented the pains of Nigerians in the seemingly abusive relationship they have had to endure with the government.
“There’s a disparity in what we say on social media and what we do. How long are we going to abandon politics because we think it is dirty? The EndSARS protest has shown the power that resides in a determined group of young Nigerians. When we come together, there’s nothing we cannot achieve when it comes to the affairs of our nation.
“However, we cannot protest about every problem we have as a nation. Protesting every problem is simply not sustainable. We must now move from Protests to political power. We must channel that energy towards participating in politics, and collectively push for the right candidates at various levels,” he said.
Also, Oyo State former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, in his presentation, said, “Our approach must be different and realistic as youths, enough of being sentimental. If you are young and empty-headed that won’t count for much. It is not enough to be young.”
According to Fakorede, competence and character is required to cater for the peculiar challenges facing the nation.
Chikas Kumle, who ran for the State House of Assembly in Plateau, in 2019, and a strong advocate for women in leadership, explained that her commitment to serve the people has kept her going.
According to her, “If you don’t do politics, politics will do you and it is important that we become strategic in our approach to politics, even as we learn from the mistakes of the elders so we don’t repeat them”
The Enugu State House of Assembly member representing Ezeagu constituency, Chima Obezie, stressed that it “is important to know why you want to run, and let it be driven by service for humanity.”
Obezie encouraged young people to become part of the process and be rooted in grassroot engagements.
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